We discovered Marblehead sort of by accident. Maybe you’ve heard of it from an obscure television series in the late-80s called Marblehead Manor, which happened to star the then-equally obscure Michael Richards. One weekend we decided that it was too early to call it a night, so we took off on a drive out of Boston in a general northeasterly direction. We found ourselves at Revere Beach, which was deserted, and continued on Route 1A north to Lynn. At Nahant we weren’t able to find any easy access to the ocean front, so we did the natural thing and kept on driving.
At the end of Route 129 we ended up in Marblehead. It’s in a sort of cul-de-sac from which there is nowhere to go but to turn back the way we came (or continue on to the Atlantic Ocean). Even at night, the town was very attractive. We drove by Abbot Hall), whose exterior ornamentation reminded me of the interior of the Great Mosque of Córdoba. That night we resolved to return.
Marblehead is another of the picturesque seaside towns that dot the New England coast. The town lays claim to being the birthplace of the American Navy. This doesn’t come as a surprise. Because of its location and excellent natural harbor, the ocean has always been its way of life. Many houses in the old town bear the distinction of having belonged to a former sea captain, sailor or fisherman back in the 17th century. It must be what it’s like to live in a museum.
We walked on the winding, narrow streets, visited the old cemetery and toured the now abandoned Fort Sewall. Across a narrow isthmus on a small island (i.e., a “neck”) is the somewhat small Marblehead Neck Audubon sanctuary. All in all, it was a pleasant Sunday out. On the way back, we decided to go on another whim and found out about marvellous Lynn Woods, but that’s a story for another time.